KPMG UK has confirmed that going forward, it will split the role of chair and CEO to “bring it in line with industry practice”.
The Big Four firm will also hold an election process for the CEO position, with the process beginning this month and concluding by the end of April. Following the results, the elected CEO will serve until the end of September 2025.
During the election period, Mary O’Connor, head of Clients and Markets, will remain in role as interim Chief Executive.
Meanwhile, Bina Mehta will remain in post as chair of its UK board for the next 12 months, in order to “provide ongoing continuity”.
In this non-executive role, she will oversee the election process to appoint a CEO, who will be responsible for the day-to-day running of KPMG’s UK business.
Bina Mehta, UK chair of KPMG said: “The board has acted to ensure we continue to provide clear, long-term leadership for the firm as we deliver the next stage of our growth strategy and support our clients as the country emerges from the pandemic.
“During the appointment process, Mary will continue to lead the firm on an interim basis. She is doing a tremendous job leading the firm during what has been a challenging period.”
The governance changes follow the resignation of its former chairman, Bill Michael, who stepped away from the group following controversial comments he made during a virtual meeting with staff earlier this month.
Michael apologised for telling consultants to “stop moaning” during a discussion about the impact of the pandemic on their working lives.
In a statement, he said: “I love the firm and I am truly sorry that my words have caused hurt amongst my colleagues and for the impact the events of this week have had on them. In light of that, I regard my position as untenable and so I have decided to leave the firm.
“It has been a privilege to have acted as chair of KPMG. I feel hugely proud of all our people and the things they have achieved, particularly during these very challenging times.”